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Interview - Andrea Ferro (Lacuna Coil)

Interview with Andrea Ferro from Lacuna Coil
by Daniel Fox at 30 March 2014, 6:32 PM

Daniel Fox recently interviewed LACUNA COIL's vocalist Andrea Ferro over Skype, on the premise of very recent line-up changes and their new record, “Black Crown Halo”, out via Century Media. Also touched on were significant turning points in the band history, and what molded the band's uniquely dualistic trajectory.

Hello Andrea. Firstly, my sincere thanks, and on behalf of Metal Temple, for agreeing to this interview. How are you? Counting the days until the new release?

Hello! Right now we're in Denver, Colorado, we just had some great Japanese food, so all good! Sunny today, the beginning of the tour has been really cold so right now we're enjoying the nice weather.

Alright! That's excellent. It's actually fairly hot over here right now, we're still in Summer \[or near the end] unfortunately. 

*laughs*

Yeah… I imagine the start of 2014 has brought some mixed feelings to the band and the fans, with the recent departure of “Pizza” and “Criz”, before Black Crown Halo comes out. The departure of who were pretty much "family" and the coming of a new album.

It was a decision that we made last year after a tour that we did with PARADISE LOST and KATATONIA, but we just, you know, \[announced it] recently because we had to wait for certain legal issues. But at the end of the day it has been a natural decision because the guys wanted to change their lifestyle; they didn't like the touring anymore, you know, and they didn't like to be on the road for so much time and all of that. So they wanted to settle down and have a regular lifestyle, so it wasn't about the music, it wasn't about the feelings within the band, you know, it was just they wanted to change their lives. So after we sat down and finished the recording and we did the tour, they realised that they didn't wanna do this for a living anymore, so they just wanted to move on with their lives and do something different. So it was not easy, of course, in the beginning because we worked together for 15 years but at the end of the day it was kind of a refreshing decision because it's better to have people in the band that are truly motivated to be on tour, since it's a big part of the band, you know, the touring. So it's good to have somebody that actually wants to be on tour and enjoys to be on tour. If you don't, you only see the negative side. So it was not an easy decision, but it was a decision for the better; for the band and for the guys.

Well, you know, it's onwards and upwards, then. I read that you collectively decided to stick with Maus as the sole guitarist for now, and that a certain Ryan Folden is going to be filling in on drums. Might this be a permanent lineup for both touring and studio recordings or is it more of a temporary thing?

I mean, we don't know yet; Ryan, the drummer, has been with us for 2 years now because Criz already didn't do some of the touring with us for the past 2 years because he had a baby girl and he was already changing his lifestyle. So Ryan has already been playing with us for almost 2 years. He has been a natural candidate; you know, he has been our drum tech for 6 years, our touring drummer for 2 years so it was just a natural choice to just ask him to play for us. Not having anyone else joining the band was a better decision for us because we feel we could handle the parts with just Maus and we didn't really wanna have anybody from outside jumping into the band. So, you know, we like it better this way and for now it's the right thing, you know, then we have time to decide and we focus on promoting the new album, doing the touring and interviews, and then we'll see.

Yeah, of course. Many bands do extremely well with a single guitarist, but I know from personal experience that the heaviness of the previous albums with, you know, some of the tracks used two 7-string guitars, that was always very well received. What might just having just one guitarist do for the band's future musical direction?

Oh we don't know yet I mean we haven't started working on new music but maybe I think there could be a little more of the keyboards coming in for the melodies instead of some clean guitars or something like that, but that's just my idea; I don't know, we still have to sit down and write music and then tell you but for the studio it's never a problem, you know, it's mostly for the live show that we have to study how to make it work. In the studio you can have as many tracks as you want, there has always been more than just two, anyway.

Yeah, I could actually personally look forward to some keyboard work. Of course this leads me to the new album. It has been on repeat, admittedly, since I received the promo for it from my editor; I don’t think I’ve listened to anything else since. To me it sounds like an even heavier “Dark Adrenaline”; do you feel like it’s continuing along a similar musical angle?

Yeah, I think “Dark Adrenaline” has been definitely the starting point for this new record and I think compared to “Dark Adrenaline” there are probably more different styles of songs. I mean the direction is probably the same or heavier in some of the songs, but overall I think its a bit more of a variety; more slow songs that are also heavy, more intimate songs, more groovy songs, so it's definitely a progression from “Dark Adrenaline”; bringing back some of the elements like the growl vocals on certain songs, or Cristina doing some more epic, high choruses on some other songs. So you know, the rest being something new, but the rest also being something a little back to our history like on Dark Adrenaline.

Yeah, that was actually one of my other questions. As you said, I did notice some more growled vocals on this new album. But I don't actually think I can hear any on anything between Comalies and now, I mean I heard it on the very early material; what made you stop performing them for such a long time?

Yeah, we just thought, you know, when we sit down and listen to the demos of the music for the new album, we thought that some growled vocals could actually work for the songs. So we thought “why can't we use it”? You know we've been using it in the past and it's part of our style, anyway, so why should we put a limit to what we can do, you know? So when we were writing this album we just didn't really care, we just go “this works fine for the song, so why not?” Why should we be afraid of putting in something like that? We didn't really care about \[songs just being] radio friendly enough, we just go and say “okay, this is good, this could be a single, whatever, this could be a heavier song, why not?” You know, we just go with the flow more than think, we didn't think too much. Why not? We have it, it's in us, so why not?

Oh, believe me, I welcome the addition, I think it made it a lot heavier. Actually, speaking of the olden days, before the band became Lacuna Coil, when it was called Ethereal, before the change, Cristina pretty much just handled backing vocals. When she became a second lead vocalist, how, if at all, did that change your vision with regards to the band and the music you'd be playing in the future?

Yeah, I mean we noticed that with her addition the music was taking a completely different dimension, you know, because back then in '96 there weren't that many bands using two voices or a female voice for the gothic genre. So it was something for us that sounded very fresh and different to our normal dimension as a band so we thought we could experiment and try to see where we could go with that addition. It sounded really different, you know, she's always been a very different element in our band. So we thought why not try, and then I think the result was pretty good, pretty unique.

Yeah. I mean, I've heard bands that might have a clean and a coarse vocalist, but you rarely hear anything with both a female and male vocalist. I think the band has one of the greatest synergies that exists today. For instance IRON MAIDEN has Adrian and Dave; ARCH ENEMY had Michael and Chris. But we have such a stark contrast between you two. Do you think of it as something more than a compositional feature? Maybe a metaphor for the band’s music?

Yeah. For sure there is this duality; it has always been present in our music. Not only the two voices, but also the fact that we were slow, but also fast on other songs; sometimes we're dark, but also have a positive message. So the positive and the negative, they've always been very present in our music, so it is a characteristic of our sound, I think, whether there is the voice or not. I think you really have a Lacuna Coil song when you have the two voices working together; that makes it more unique, you know? But with that said, we could also have a song that is more prominent in one of the voices just because it sounds right for that song. But overall I think the characteristic is the duality in the band, I think in terms of everything; sounds, clean and distorted. Also the two voices are so different, that are totally working together just because they are completely different.

Oh, definitely in the new album with both of you branching out a little bit vocal-wise, it made the contrast more obvious I think. Just going back to the new album, could you tell me about the lyrical inspirations for it, as opposed to previous albums?

Yeah, I mean most of it is always about real life; every album we've done we always talk about real life because we don't like to talk about stuff that we've never experienced. We've tried, but it's not really our thing and I think you don't sound real when you write about stuff you haven't experienced. So this time around, the main difference is that we have been trying to make a lot of metaphor between some characters of horror movies, especially from Italian horror movies of the 70's and the 80's, and the real life story. So when we do a song, for argument's example like “Die and Rise”, we talk about werewolves and vampires but in reality we mean that everyday you need to be ready to die and rise again, in terms of being adaptable to everything that happens to your life, to all the changes that life puts in front of you. So in order to survive you really need to be adaptable and regenerate yourself everyday. But we've wrote in a way that could be more of a vampire story. So we've been using a lot of metaphor compared to the past; that's the main difference.

Yeah, I completely see what you mean. Finally, the old cliché question about live shows. No doubt you guys will be touring your asses off to promote the new album. I know you guys went to Australia once in 2009; is that likely to be in the pipeline again? I mean, I ask because I’m from New Zealand-

*laughs*

-which is just across the ditch; yeah, you can see where I'm going with this; and it would be most fortunate if one of our promoters reached out to the band too. I imagine you have quite a following downunder.

Yeah we surely are interested in coming back. We have actually been there twice, once we did Gigantour with MEGADETH, STATIC X, DEVILDRIVER and BRING ME THE HORIZON and once we did the Soundwave Festival. And hopefully we're gonna come back soon. Last year we actually went to Vietnam, which is not that far, so we're opening a lot of new markets; India, Vietnam; opening a lot of new territories so possibly we can do more of a wider tour of the area; you know, South East Asia, Australia and hopefully New Zealand as well. It would be really good to be there because it's one of the places we really want to see and we never really had the chance to visit.

Yeah; speaking from experience, metal concerts are actually quite a special thing here because we're so.. I hesitate to use the term

Out of the way? *Laughs*

Yeah *laughs* exactly. Well, that was it from me. My best wishes to the band; thanks again so much for taking part in the interview, and also for making the music that you do. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you very much, and hopefully we're gonna see you on the road very soon, either in New Zealand, or Israel.. Or somewhere *laughs*

Yeah, that would be much appreciated. Alright, cheers.

Thank you very much, bye-bye!



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